Jake's First Grade Experiences
June 2001--Another busy month, practicing sounding out words and listening games. I went to New Orleans to be on a parents panel at an audiology conference and met another little girl with AN. Jake is still a busy little bee, talking up a storm. He is into the "repeat everything that brother says" phase and is driving poor Josh nuts. But, he is learning new words and repeating sentences correctly, so it isn't all bad. We are also busy getting the programs and nametags made for the AN conference. Jake enjoys helping to make the gift bags for the other children!
July 6, 2001-- We went to Rochester, MN for the second AN parents conference. Jake met another little boy with AN named Levi and they really hit it off. It was amazing that he signs and Jake is oral/CS but they had no problems getting their needs and wants across to each other. Jake loved taking pictures and playing in the pool with his new friend. They got along great and are both little stinkers as far as I can tell! We went to Camp Snoopy on family day and Jake rode his first roller coaster. He didn't like it either, but he liked the big chocolate ice cream cones!
July 8, 2001--Jake was having cortical testing today at Mayo Clinic to see how his brain is reacting to hearing through the implant. I had bribed him that I would give him ten dollars if he completed the test. He had started to squirm around and I said, "Jake, do you want the ten dollars." He sat there a minute and said, "Mom, I need a twenty." Everyone thought that was very funny! The good news was they said his brain waves looked like a hearing childs brain waves!
July 21, 2001--Jake, Dad and Josh went to the UNC cochlear implant picnic today and the TV news station came to increase awareness of the implant. Jake was playing ball and is the child that they filmed for the six o'clock news! He got his thirty seconds of fame. He was very excited to be on TV. Mom was happy and cried to see her baby son become a star!
July 27,2001--We all went to Myrtle Beach for the week to get some rest and relaxation before school starts again. Jake was so funny when he saw the beach. He yelled out, "Oh man, look at that BIG swimming pool!" He kept asking me where was the other end of it because he could only see the sky way far off. We all had a really good time and found lots of shark teeth and shells. After three days he was asking to go back to his house though. He really doesn't like being away from home at all. Everytime I got on to him for something he would say, "Please Mommy, don't worry, okay." Little brat!
August 7, 2001--Audiological appointment at UNC for Jakes 2.5 year evals! It is hard to believe it has been that long since he got the implant. His audiogram was at 20dB at 250, 500, 750, 1500 & 6000Hz, 25dB at 1000, 2000 & 4000Hz and 30dB at 3000Hz. His SAT was 0dB, and I didn't hear it! They remapped him and decreased his T & M levels slightly on different channels because he was hearing better than they want CI kids to hear and they think that there may be too much background noise where he was. He also had OAE's done on his right ear today at my request, just out of curiosity since he hasn't worn a hearing aid except for one day the last 10 weeks. His regular hearing aid is broken, and the waterproof one drowned somewhere on the way to Rochester ;-) The OAE's were totally absent now---- no response in any frequency. Before they were considered absent but he had one frequency that had a small response in that ear. He got 100% on the ESP and had the same old errors with L and R in certain positions when he got in a hurry on the Paden Brown test. So we continue to work to get a consistent yeLLow instead on yeyyow and a Leaf instead of neaf. He missed tree and said twee, which was strange because tree was one of the first consonant blends he said right after he got the implant. I am not too worried though, I understand that it is only slightly below age appropriate speech production. He was a perfect angel and we zipped right through the audiogram, testing and most of the mapping. I was very proud of him for his behavior at the audiologist appointment and hope that the first day of school this coming Monday goes well too.
August 10, 2001--Jake met his mainstream teacher today and actually spoke to her, so that is a good start. He seems very excited to go back to school Monday and has been asking when he could go back for over a week now.
August 13, 2001--My baby is grown! He marched right into the classroom without clinging to me when I tried to leave. He sat at his table and told me to "leave now Mommy!" I almost cried that he didn't need me anymore and didn't cling to me.
August 15, 2001--We took a few days off from school and went to meet my good online friend Orla and her son. Jake, Josh and Orla's son had a great time and it was cool for the kids to meet another child with an implant. Jake didn't like the idea of going in the "big swimming pool" again after seeing the guy catch two baby sharks in Myrtle Beach. I told him there were no sharks where we were at but he said, "Yes, I saw baby sharks in the big swimming pool and they have big Mommy sharks." Pretty smart! Jake and Orla's son got along well and had no trouble communicating.
August 31, 2001--Jake is loving school, reading up a storm and sounding out words easily. He loves to read now! At school, he hesitates to go sit down in class some days but once I leave he is fine. I think he is playing Mommy's emotions. His teacher said he is fine when his Dad brings him to school. What do you think?
September 7, 2001--Jake had his first spelling test today and made 100% on it! I was worried that he wouldn't hear the teacher well enough to get the words since they all rhymed, but he did. He isn't watching the transliterator either!
September 30, 2001--Jake has been busy at school, working hard and playing just as hard. We felt that he was too clingy and sullen many days that I walked him into the building, so we started letting him walk in by himself this month. He wasn't too keen on it for a few days, but finally took to it and hops right out at carpool and goes to class. No problems with his mood and behavior first thing in the morning since then. So, I guess that my baby is now a BIG first grader.
October 17, 2001--WOW! We had a teacher conference today and Jake's is at or ABOVE grade level in all academic areas!!!!!!! He did some math that some other kids couldn't do! He does have difficulty with what they call "Mental Math", but they say that with practice he will be able to do the math orally. His only problem is in reading comprehension where we feel he is a little behind, but is improving daily! However, he is still a little unsure of himself and afraid to make a mistake so we struggle to get him to answer the teacher when she asks him comprehension questions. She said that she knows he can talk because he talks to his friends at the table when he is supposed to be quiet! He also talked up a storm to her and me at the conference and she told him that he really needed to talk to her and the other kids more. He promised us he would because he wants to go to second grade! He does tell me things that they did and read at school so I know he has to be comprehending something to be making the progress he has. It is hard to believe that last October, he couldn't read anything much except family first names and such simple things like that. He has worked very hard to get where he is now and I am so PROUD of him. WOW, I can't believe he has caught up in almost everything!!!!!!!!
October 25, 2001--Jake got his report card today and made Satisfactory in all subject areas! I am so proud of him. It says
Jake is making good progress in all academic areas. He is a developing reader, reading at the 11-12 level and is building a sight vocabulary of functional words. He is using word attack skills on new text with less teacher support. He is beginning to read beginning to read loud enough to be heard in small and large group settings in the classroom. This shows that he is gaining confidence in himself as a reader. We are observing him using more consistency in using capitals, punctuation, and spacing appropriately on written work. Jake seems to be more confident as a writer, often writing three or four sentences on a topic. He is using resources available in the classroom like the desk dictionary, word wall, and vocabulary around class to help him in using words correctly. Jake has mastered all first grade math skills for the first semester.
November 6, 2001--WRITING SAMPLE: Write about two hens that get caught in the rain.
Two hens play with the umbrella. Then two hens put a coat on. Two hens ran into the barn. They ate dinner.
November 15, 2001--Jake recently had an audiogram on his right ear to get a new hearing aid to help with localization. He doesn't have a problem with hearing with the CI but in noise he localizes better with a hearing aid. His audiogram was back to the cookie bite configuration from 80dB at 250Hz down to 100dB at 3000Hz, and back up to 85dB at 4000dB. We decided to order a linear aid rather than the more expensive digitals, since he can't understand much speech with the aid anyway. He picked out this awful earmold called confetti, so he was excited about that. (yikes, it was ugly!)
November 26, 2001--WRITING SAMPLE: My Thanksgiving holiday was long. I ate potatoes and peas. I played gameboy a lot. I like pumpkin pie. I like Mom too.
November 30, 2001--Jake had another good month at school. He is so smart, but struggles with grammar at times. He has a hard time with little words like to, and, it, the, etc. at times. He will leave words out and say, "I want go shopping Walmart," instead of "I want to go shopping at Walmart." I know he gets sick of hearing me correct him so I try to say something like "Is that what you are supposed to say? Did you leave something out?" Or I repeat what he said with the correct words added with some emphasis. His TOD sends a weekly progress report home for us to see what he did with her everyday so we have a good idea what is happening. He got his new hearing aid and wears it to school but takes it off as soon as he gets in the car.
December 5, 2001--WRITING SAMPLE: December makes me happy. December is fun. Christmas is on December 25. Santa is coming with presents.
December 12, 2001--WRITING SAMPLE: I am younger than Josh. I like to play with Josh. I think Josh is smart.
December 17, 2001--Jake wrote the sweetest letter to Santa.
I wish love for everyone. I wish for friends.
January 9, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: When it snowed I played with the dog in the snow. I had a snowball fight with Joshua.
January 29, 2002--Write about Polar bears: Polar bears are good swimmmers. Polar bears eat seals. Polar bears live in the Arctic. Polar bears have furry paws to keep them from sliding on ice.
February 5, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: February makes me think of cookies. February makes me think of love. It makes me think of President's Day.
February 15, 2002--I gave Jake accessories for his Gameboy for valentines day, the car charger and electrical charger to save his batteries. This is what he wrote in his journal...too funny!
My favorite Valentine surprise was a game-boy. Mom gave it to me. The name is Charger. My Mom gave me chocolates.
February 26, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: Gila monsters are black and pink. Gila monsters are venomous lizards. They live in deserts.
March 19, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: I am afraid of bees. I am afraid of bees because they sting. The bees are in North Carolina.
April 2, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: Spring break was fun to play with Shelby. I love to watch Tom and Jerry. I went camping with my family. We saw a big fish under the water. The Easter Bunny gave me candy. I played with eight friends at home.
April 12, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: The whale shark is the biggest shark. They eat big fish. The whale shark has rows of teeth. Scientist like to study whale sharks. The great whale shark eats humans.
May 17, 2002--WRITING SAMPLE: Tell about your field trip to the zoo.
At the zoo, I saw a grizzly bear. The flamingo has pink feathers and long legs. I rode with Josh on the tram. The fish were looking at me. I saw 20 geese and they were flying. I saw a balck snake in the grass. I had fun at the zoo.
May 20, 2002--Jake has been having problems staying focused and sitting still at school, especially in the last few months. It has gotten progressively worse and a few weeks ago the SLP told me that she had to tell him to sit down twelve times in one thirty minute session. TWELVE times!! It is definately starting to affect his work as he doesn't always finish his daily work and has to do it at home or in resource with the TOD. It takes forever to do his sentence writing at home because he can't stay focused. We usually both end up crying before it is over. He also told me that he has a really hard time sitting still at schooland doesn't like having to go sit in his desk at circle time. We went to the pediatrician today to discuss this and we decided to try medication to help him focus better. He thought it was a good idea too so he doesn't get in trouble as much for moving and wiggling. I hated to think of having him on meds, but we have struggled with the fact that he may have ADHD like his brother and that he may have to try meds at some point for well over three years. Still, seeing ADHD written on his medical chart was hard. I know how Josh struggles with the energy levels and the feelings that people make fun of him because he can't sit still.